Past & Present

A brief history.

Prior to 1940 the business park was split into several small farms.
In 1942 these farms were requisitioned by the MOD and the whole area was flattened to form an Airfield. Construction of the airfield involved the laying of a main 6000 ft runway, 2 auxiliary 4200 ft runways and a perimeter track with hard standing areas for the aeroplanes. Also, two  T2 hangers and various accommodation units were built for the planes and personnel.

This is important information as this infrastructure has provided the basis for the roadways, drainage and security for the business park today.

The airbase was used by the USAAF from October 1942, firstly by B 17's of the 94 th bomb group and then in June 1943 by B -26 Marauders of the 323rd bomb group.  Soon after D-day the 323rd Bomb Group moved to forward bases in France.

In September 1944 the base was returned to the RAF and became home to RAF No 38 group with their Albermarles and Halifaxes for towing gliders. These were used during the Rhine crossing in march 1945 and suffered heavy losses.

After the end of the war the airfield was was de-commissioned and became derelict. During the 50's and early 60's the land reverted back to farmland despite brambles  and scrub starting to take over.

The Estate has been under its current  ownership, E Hobbs (Farms) Ltd, since 1965, at first as a farm, growing various arable crops including potatoes which required the construction of a 10 million gallon reservoir to irrigate them. This system, which uses water collected by the extensive drainage network on the park is now  used to irrigate the golf courses and provide fire hydrants around the park.
Also during this time thousands of trees were planted in shelter belts to break up the monotonous landscape.

This regeneration of the environment was recognised in 1979 when E Hobbs Farms were awarded the Farming and Wildlife Award for conservation, a national recognition of the creation of an environment where wildlife was returning to a formerly derelict landscape, now brimming with all types of trees and abundant with wildlife and mammals.

From the early 1980's the shift from agriculture to industry was starting, and by 1991 the golf courses and a large part of the industrial development was complete. Development  has continued since then with a mixture of industrial unit and office development, and has received awards from Braintree District Council for sympathetic development style and also in recognition of the contribution the park and it's owners have made to the local community and business sector.